Pictorial: 04 R1150GS Hydraulic Clutch Flush

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Some-Young-Guy, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Some-Young-Guy

    Some-Young-Guy Been here awhile

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    I thought this might be useful to some...

    On the hydrolic clutch circuit, the master cylinder is located at the clutch lever and the slave cylinder is located on the transmission housing. As hose runs between the master to the slave cylinders. A bleed hose is attached to the slave cylinder and a "ball bearing type" check valve is attached to the end of the bleed hose.

    This picture shows the end of the bleed hose as it is zip-tied to the frame.

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    This picture shows the capped end of the bleed hose and the protective sleeve.

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    This picture shows the check valve fitting on the end of the bleed hose.

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    This picture shows the cap removed and the check valve inside the fitting.

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    This picture shows the "bleeder" fitting (about $9) needed to attach to the end of the check valve. The bleeder fitting pushes open the check valve and allows you to easily flush the circuit.

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    This picture shows the two fittings assembled. Finger tight is all it takes.

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    This Mityvac system (about $75) makes it much easier to flush clutch and brake circuits.

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    This picture shows the dirty DOT4 fluid in the reservoir. Most of this was removed before I added fresh fluid.

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    This picture shows the assembled vacuum system. The inline needle valve is helpful.

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    This picture shows clean fluid in the reservoir. However, notice the grime on the walls of the reservoir. I did not see this until I looked at the picture. Looks like I have a little more work to do.

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    There... that's better...

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    I suggest that you flush the circuit until clean fluid is continuously coming out and then remove the bleeder fitting from the check valve. Then work the clutch lever several times to pump the slave cylinder. Then flush the circuit again. I did this three times and by then end all of the fluid coming out looked clean.

    My bike is an 04 R1150GS with 26k miles. I recently took a long ride (8094 miles) from Idaho Falls, ID, to Deadhorse, AK, and the only problem I had with the bike during the trip was the clutch circuit. It had never been flushed and this caught up with me on my trip when, along the Cassiar Highway, it decided to stop working. I flushed the circuit on the road by holding the check valve open with a screw driver and this brought the clutch back and I was able to finish my ride with only a few hours interruption. Today I properly flushed the circuit and now it feels 100% again.

    Here is a schematic of the clutch circuit for reference. It does not appear that there is much to "rebuild". If the master or slave cylinder goes out, you have to replace the units. The master cylinder or "clutch handlebar fitting" (#1) is about $385 and the slave cylinder or "output cylinder clutch" (#6) is about $127.

    [​IMG]


    STOP THE PRESSES!!! Updated on August 8, 2009.


    Thanks to the good advice from this site, I discovered the real problem.

    This picture shows the slave cylinder being removed.

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    This picture shows the condition of the slave cylinder.

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    This picture shows the condition of the location occupied by the slave cylinder.

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    The bottom line is this, if the DOT4 fluid in the clutch system turns muddy, then the slave cylinder is shot.

    [​IMG]

    I just order a new slave cylinder and gaskets. To access the slave cylinder I removed the muffler, rear tire, and rear shock.

    Updated on August 17, 2009.

    I installed the new slave cylinder over the weekend and this is what happened. When I finished the installation I filled and flushed the clutch system (with the new and dry slave cylinder) with DOT4 fluid using the Mityvac. However, at one point during the procedure the DOT4 fluid would no longer flow out of the check valve and into the Mityvac. I would pump the clutch lever but no more fluid would drain out through the check valve, despite the vacuum. I buttoned everything up and took the bike for a ride. I was dissapointed because the clutch lever did not feel much better with the new slave cylider than it did with the old slave cylider. However, when I got back home I decided to flush the system again and this second time I had none of the same problems as the first time. On my next ride the clutch lever felt 100% again. It seems that I did not get all of the air out of the clutch system on my first flush after installing the new slave cylider.
    #1
  2. johnjen

    johnjen Now, even more NOW!…

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    Those are some good pics. I'm gunna bookmark this thread just for them.

    JJ
    #2
  3. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    If you like, I can add a question to the GSpot FAQ which has this thread as it's answer.


    [TaSK]
    #3
  4. Some-Young-Guy

    Some-Young-Guy Been here awhile

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    Thanks tagesk. That would be great.
    #4
  5. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    By the color of the clutch fluid you had better watch your slave cylinder. Typically when going bad the throw out bearing grease will discolor the clutch fluid.
    #5
  6. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    I'll second that - and even suggest you'll need a new slave cylinder in the not too distant future. :eek1
    #6
  7. Some-Young-Guy

    Some-Young-Guy Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys. I'll keep an eye on things and if the fluid turns ugly again soon I'll know it's time to look into replacing the master and slave cylinders.

    Does anyone know if there are rebuild kits (e.g., new sets of seals and O-rings) for the master and slave cylinders?

    I'll check out the parts schematics.
    #7
  8. ServoJockey

    ServoJockey Adventurer

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    So, what other symptoms does a failing slave cylinder exhibit? :ear
    After my clutch started acting up earlier today, I decided to flush it based on comments here. It was really dark and worse yet, I could not get the bubbles out of it. I know we were not pulling them in from the master cylinder. We ran half a liter of fluid through and still got lotsa bubbles. Could they be coming from the slave cylinder?
    #8
  9. Some-Young-Guy

    Some-Young-Guy Been here awhile

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    In my setup the vacuum connection shown in the picture below was not vacuum tight. While I was bleeding the clutch, air was constantly being sucking into the threaded connection and the hose connection. This did not concerm me because it kept a vacuum on the bleeder hose and no air was going up the bleeder hose.

    As I pumped the clutch lever fluid flowed into the hose and surged into the Mityvac's tank.

    I suppose that I could have made the connection vacuum tight by putting some teflon tape on the threads and a hose clamp on the hose.

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

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    Done.

    [TaSK]
    #10
  11. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    With mine at 31,000 miles the bike ran fine, but an intermittent screeching noise was audible whenever the clutch was engaged; pull in the clutch lever and all was quiet. I was correctly advised that the throw out bearing on the slave was bad and I had better change it (small cheap job) before failure occurred lest I get clutch fluid running up the pushrod to my clutch plate (large expensive job). After dissasembling my slave the small ball bearings from the throw out bearing came rolling out. When changing my clutch fluid I noticed that it was a greasy dark color and subsequently learned that was a common finding when the throw out bearing is going bad.
    #11
  12. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    Here's a link on how to replace the slave. (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=349925). You will see the source of the black grease which is contaminating your clutch fluid. It is sitting in the cavity where the push rod contacts the throw out bearing. Compare it to the white grease in a new slave.
    IMPORTANT ADDENDUM!
    A few thousand miles after replacing my slave cylinder my clutch began slipping in 5th and 6th gears upon acceleration. It was saturated with transmission oil from a leaky bearing that sits just aft of the slave cylinder, i.e., the transmission oil leaked into the cavity between the slave cylinder and back of transmission and ran up the pushrod to the clutch assembly. I subsequently read a post by Steptoe citing this as a common sequela to a failed slave cylinder. A word to the wise-when you replace the slave cylinder also replace the bearing that sits right in front of it. My only question is which occurs first? Does the rear bearing allow a small amount of transmission oil to contaminate the slave cylinder and it subsequently fails? Or does the slave cylinder fail and allow the DOT 4 to compromise the integrity of the rear bearing, which subsequently leaks transmission oil?
    #12
  13. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    Hold the bleed unit up above the slave cylinder and you can bleed it with gravity. :D
    #13
  14. Some-Young-Guy

    Some-Young-Guy Been here awhile

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    Thank you PETDOC for your post!

    This morning I started the bike and sure enough, with the bike idling in neutral I can hear a slight squealing noise. When I pull in the clutch lever the noise goes away. I did notice this noise during my recent trip, but I attributed it to a loose alternator belt (I installed a new belt just before the trip and I thought it had streched). Otherwise I didn't pay much attention to it. It's hard for me to know if the noise was there while I was riding down the road. It probably was.

    It looks like I will be changing the slave cylinder assembly on my bike.
    #14
  15. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    This is the only way I could bleed this damn thing.
    I didn't have a bleed screw to fit so I ended up loosening the two fitting and let it gravity bleed about 300ml through.
    Any harm in this method?
    #15
  16. PETDOC

    PETDOC Long timer

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    Make your life simple and get a SpeedBleeder. However, if you do make sure you heat the BMW adapter to break the loctite before removing, otherwise taking it off is hell! Don't ask me how I know.
    #16
  17. ricohman

    ricohman Long timer

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    I used a small butane torch to heat the fittings when I saw red thread lock.
    It came apart ok though and let it gravity bleed and held the hose at the highest point before putting them back together.
    I am going to buy a speedbleedr for this.
    Is it a standard 10m x 1.0?
    #17
  18. ServoJockey

    ServoJockey Adventurer

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    I pulled mine out yesterday and it looks exactly like the photo:puke1 It only took me about 20 minutes to get it out. I also pulled the starter to check on the clutch, thankfully there was no oil of any kind in the clutch housing. :wings
    After spending some quality time with Google and friends; most prices for a replacement are $147.15 plus $7-$10 shipping (Ground). My local dealer wants $174.00 and I have to drive 35 miles one way to get it.
    Beemerboneyard has new ones for $99.95 and shipping charges are reasonable (2nd day $14.52):clap

    Thanks again advrider for the great write ups and info to make a seemingly complicated job simple.:clap

    Update: the Beemerboneyard replacement came without a gasket. With a little creative use of form-a-gasket I was able to build my own, well worth the $50 saved.
    Once replaced, I was able to bleed it in a matter of minutes. So, you can add too many bubbles to symptoms of a failing slave cylinder.
    This bike shifts better that it has since I have owned it, about 2 years and 10K miles. I suspect the slave had been acting up for a long time.
    #18
  19. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    None whatsoever - to make it quicker use your thumb as a bleed nipple- put your thumb over the end and pump the lever and release thumb, then replace thumb as you release lever and so on and so on on until your satified it's bled properly :D
    #19
  20. Some-Young-Guy

    Some-Young-Guy Been here awhile

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    I wanted to give this a bump because I update the original post. Sure enough, the slave cylinder was shot.

    Thank you guys for the good advice!
    #20